Melon Farmers Original Version

Censor Watch

2016: June

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Update: Censor App...

Chinese internet censors set to introduce real name requirements for apps and app stores

Link Here30th June 2016
Full story: Internet Censorship in China...All pervading Chinese internet censorship
China has released a new set of oppressive rules that require all mobile app users as well as the App Store to have a real name registration and to maintain activity logs from users for a period of 60 days.

According to Reuters , the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) wants to get a full censorship grip on the rapidly expanding app market.

According to the South China Morning Post, the new rules cover information services through mobile Internet apps as well as app store services on the Chinese mainland.

Based on the new rules, users are required to register their real names with the app provider before they will be allowed a public alias or username.

The app provider then verifies all the information collected by mobile numbers or any other means. They are also required to regulate accounts or user profiles that violate the rules on the publishing anything that the state does not like.

A anonymous app operator commented to the South China Morning Post:

Many users like to comment on social and political news on live-streaming and news apps. Now they will need to think twice before making any comment that authorities could claim spurred public scares or rumors.



Box of Prudes...

New Zealand cancels Channel's 4 Sex Box in response to a petition of 'outraged' viewers

Link Here30th June 2016
Channel 4's Sex Box has been axed from New Zealand TV2's new line-up.

TVNZ responded to a petition with over 10,000 signatories and ditched plans to screen a controversial British reality TV show in which participants had sex during the programme.

TVNZ said that they were responding to the feedback the network had received about the show, and agreed that after taking a closer look at Sex Box the show was not the right fit for the public broadcaster. A spokesman added:

We typically get a range of viewer opinions expressed about our on-air and online content. Not everyone will agree with every decision we make but we do listen

An online petition launched by Ann-Maree Quinn to see TV2 axe the show has been signed by 10,184 prudes. The petition read:

Yet another bizarre reality TV show to occupy our screens, but this one is particularly troubling on a number of levels. It is not prudish to object to Sex Box. Some things ought not to be for sale, ought not to be promoted with evocative storylines, solely to grow viewership.

Some things simply require a level of good taste and decency. Sexual intimacy is not just a recreational activity to be viewed, scored and analysed in such a public setting,



Obituary: Bud Spencer Returns to the Trinity...

Spaghetti western star dies aged 86.

Link Here29th June 2016
Italian actor and filmmaker Bud Spencer, who starred in a number of spaghetti westerns, has died aged 86. He passed away peacefully on Monday in Rome and did not suffer from pain , his son said.

Spencer, whose real name was Carlo Pedersoli, was known among his fans as the big friendly giant of the screen because of his height and weight. He frequently appeared as part of a double act alongside Terence Hill - whose real name was Mario Girotti.

Spencer's movies included Double Trouble, Go For It, Ace High, They Call Me Trinity and A Friend is a Treasure.



Britain's censorship landscape...

Advert censor bans lawnmower advert featuring the Etesia calendar girls

Link Here29th June 2016

An email, dated 21 October 2015, sent by on behalf of Etesia UK Ltd, a horticultural equipment company, stated Meet the Etesia Calendar Girls at SALTEX! the NEC Birmingham . The email included a picture of two pouting women wearing cut-off shorts, leaning on a motorised lawnmower. A second picture, linked to and taken from an embedded video in the email, showed the same women in their underwear with one woman holding a hedge trimmer. The embedded video, filmed at the calendar photo shoot, featured the two underwear-clad models posing on or using gardening equipment.

1. A complainant challenged whether the images in the email were offensive, because they were sexist and objectified women.

2. The ASA challenged whether the embedded video was offensive, because it was sexually suggestive and objectified women.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

1. Upheld

The ASA considered that recipients would understand that the calendar image and the video photo-shoot embedded in the email were included to publicise the models' appearance at the trade fair rather than the horticultural products sold by the advertiser. The email subject line and headline text in the body of the email both stated Meet the Etesia Calendar Girls at Saltex and included details of the trade fair. However, although the images in the email were a reasonable representation of the calendar being advertised, we nonetheless considered that some recipients were unlikely to expect such images in a marketing communication from a horticultural equipment company.

We noted the women in the first picture were wearing revealing cut-off shorts, with their bottoms pushed out and pouting directly at the camera. Although the pose was not overtly sexual, we considered that it was likely to be seen as sexually suggestive. The second picture showed the women in revealing lace underwear, with one woman holding a hedge trimmer, and text next to it stated See a 'behind-the-scenes' video of the photo shoot using the link here ... . Although the context of the image was clear, we nonetheless considered that showing the women in their underwear while using gardening equipment for no other reason than a calendar shoot, presented the women as sexual objects.

We acknowledged that the images were relevant to both the nature of the calendar and the models' appearance at the trade fair, but considered that they were likely to be seen as objectifying women and were therefore sexist. For those reasons, we concluded that the email was likely to cause serious offence to some recipients.

2. Upheld

We acknowledged that the embedded video was filmed at the calendar photo shoot and was included in the email to promote the opportunity to meet the models at the trade fair, but considered that the scantily clad models had no relevance to the advertiser's products featured in the video.

The women were shown posing on or near horticultural equipment in either their underwear or bikinis, or with their tops removed, although still wearing bras. Two scenes featured the women, viewed side on, individually sitting on a lawn mower. They were wearing tops, high heel shoes and brief underpants, which revealed their buttocks. The camera zoomed into the buttock area before moving upwards. The women, both wearing skimpy underwear, appeared together on the lawn mower, one sitting with the other standing behind her, which emphasised the standing model's groin area, before the camera panned out. Towards the end of the video one of the models was briefly seen adjusting her breasts and at the end of the video the women blew kisses at the camera.

We considered that the overall impression created by the video was that it was sexual in tone with the women portrayed as sexual images and their physical features used to draw attention to the products. We considered that the video was likely to be seen as objectifying, and therefore demeaning to, women. We concluded that, because the video was sexually suggestive and degrading to women, it was likely to cause serious offence to some recipients.

The email must not appear again in its current form. We told Etesia UK Ltd to ensure their ads did not cause serious offence.



Update: China recommends...

Lady Gaga banned from China for getting pally with the Dalai Lama

Link Here29th June 2016

American singer Lady Gaga has once again joined the ranks of musicians and artists banned in China. Previously she was banned for being raunchy, but this time it was for meeting the Dalai Lama.

So Lady Gaga is no longer allowed on television, radio or available for online downloads in China (at least on officially sanctioned media), says China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. The ban came after she had met with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader to discuss the power of kindness and how to make the world a more compassionate place.



USA proposes to ask all foreign visitors to provide their social media ID...

I don't know about you, but my profiles contains stuff that I'd rather the authorities didn't see.

Link Here 28th June 2016
The US authorities are set to add questions to immigration arrivals forms asking for IDs used on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Reports suggest that it is supposedly voluntary to provide such information, but it wouldn't be difficult to drop a few hints, that those not providing such info may not be granted entry, to make it more or less mandatory.

A Notice by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on 06/23/2016 detailed the new question:

CBP Forms I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) and I-94W (Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Record) are used to document a traveler's admission into the United States. These forms are filled out by aliens and are used to collect information on citizenship, residency, passport, and contact information. The data elements collected on these forms enable the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to perform its mission related to the screening of alien visitors for potential risks to national security and the determination of admissibility to the United States.

Proposed Changes

DHS proposes to add the following question to ESTA and to Form I-94W:

Please enter information associated with your online presence -- Provider/Platform -- Social media identifier.

It will be an optional data field to request social media identifiers to be used for vetting purposes, as well as applicant contact information. Collecting social media data will enhance the existing investigative process and provide DHS greater clarity and visibility to possible nefarious activity and connections by providing an additional tool set which analysts and investigators may use to better analyze and investigate the case.




Contradictory PC bullies are just as demanding about the 'correct' body image as the commercial world they are trying to protect people from

Link Here28th June 2016

Not fat enough!

Coronation Street star Catherine Tyldesley has hit out over an 'outrageous' Calvin Klein advert featuring a supposedly plus-size model.

The Salford actress tweeted two images of svelte-looking underwear model Myla Dalbesio - reportedly a US size 10/UK 14 - and exclaimed:

Tell me this is a joke??

PLUS size?!?! Congrats on giving another generation of girls eating disorders/insecurities.

The image is from an advertising campaign back in 2014, in which plus-size Myla starred alongside supermodels Jourdan Dunn and Lara Stone.

Too fat!

The depiction of a Polynesian character in a Disney film has prompted 'outrage' across the Pacific islands, with one New Zealand MP saying the portrayal of the god Maui as obese was not acceptable .

Jenny Salesa, who is of Tongan heritage, shared a picture on her Facebook account which said Disney's rendering of Maui in the film Moana resembled a creature that was half pig, half hippo :

When we look at photos of Polynesian men & women from the last 100-200 years, most of our people were not overweight and this negative stereotype of Maui is just not acceptable - No thanks to Disney.

Will Ilolahia, from the Pacific Island Media Association, told Waatea News that Disney's version of Maui did not fit with his heroic endeavours in Pacific creation myths:

He is depicted in the stories that's been handed down, especially in my culture, as a person of strength, a person of magnitude and a person of a godly nature. This depiction of Maui being obese is typical American stereotyping. Obesity is a new phenomena because of the first world food that's been stuffed down our throat.



Escorted by aggression...

Religious extremist hacks a series of escort websites

Link Here28th June 2016
A hacker calling himself ElSurveillance has targeted at least 26 websites in June for defacement, most of which promote escort services.

According to an interview with website Data Breaches in December of last year, the hacker is citing religious reasons. He spouted:

I have been running an operation under the hashtag #EscortsOffline against the escorts website and agencies, because I strongly believe that our bodies are gifted from Allah to us to look after and not to destroy, and I always hated the idea of people selling their bodies for money.

His campaign has attacked nearly 200 websites since January 2015.



Mirror Box...

Police arrest and detain artist for allowing strangers to fondle her breasts in Trafalgar Square

Link Here27th June 2016
Swiss artist Milo Moiré has been arrested in London after allowing strangers to stroke her breasts and genitals for her latest performance piece.

The project, titled Mirror Box , saw the artist walk around various European cities with a large mirrored structure covering her body. Using a megaphone to attract attention, she would then invite strangers to stick their hands in the box, and fondle either her breasts or vagina for a 30-second period.

The performance is a follow-up to her naked protest against Cologne's New Year's Eve sex attacks. She explained that she wanted to give a symbol for the consensual nature of sexual acts. She said:

I am standing here today for women's rights and sexual self-determination. Women have a sexuality, just like men have one. However, women decide for themselves when and how they want to be touched, and when they don't.

However, when she arrived in London's Trafalgar Square she was arrested shortly after the performance began -- with police eventually forcing her to spend 24 hours in a prison cell, and fining her for a "4-digit fine".



United in criticism...

UN calls upon Iran to free musicians jailed for insulting islamic sanctities

Link Here27th June 2016

The United Nations Special Rapporteurs on cultural rights, Karima Bennoune, and on freedom of expression, David Kaye, have called on the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to release musicians Mehdi Rajabian and Yousef Emadi, and filmmaker Hossein Rajabian, who were imprisoned and heavily fined earlier this month. Ms. Bennoune said.

These three artists were sentenced for exercising their right to freedom of artistic expression and creativity, which in turn results in unjustifiable restrictions on the right of all persons in Iran to have access to and enjoy the artsArtistic expression is simply not a crime.

The human rights experts contacted the Iranian authorities on these cases earlier this year, including on the use of torture against Mr. Rajabian, musician and founder of Barg Music, an alternative music distributor in Iran.

Barg Music was the main medium broadcasting alternative music in the country and had introduced more than 100 music albums and thousands of single records by Iranian alternative musicians, as well as female singers, to Iranian audiences, before being shut down by Revolutionary Guards in 2013.

In May 2015, and, according to the Government's answer to the UN experts, the three artists were sentenced to six years in prison and a fine of 50 million Rials each (some 1,658 USD) for insulting Islamic sanctities , propaganda against the State and conducing illegal activities in the audiovisual affaires including through producing prohibited audiovisual material and performing an illegal and underground music site . On appeal, the prison sentence was reduced to three years. Mr. Kaye said:

We take note that the sentence of the artists was reduced by the appeal court However, this verdict is still unacceptable: detaining someone on the grounds of 'insulting the sacred' and 'propaganda against the state' is incompatible with international human rights standards.

Ms. Bennoune added:.

I am particularly dismayed that Mehdi Rajabian, Yousef Emadi and Hossein Rajabian were allegedly forced to make self-incriminating televised 'confessions' to the charges of having produced prohibited audiovisual materials, to express regret for their work and to apologize for broadcasting the voice of female singers, This amounts to an extraordinary attack against these artists, and one which has serious repercussions for others in Iran.

The arrest, conviction and sentencing of artists is entirely unacceptable and in complete violation of international human rights law binding on Iran. The three artists should be released immediately and all charges dropped.

The expert's call has also been endorsed by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, and the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Mr. Juan E. Mendez.



Update: An uneuropean law...

Man falls victim to Turkey's lese majeste laws for likening Erdogan to Gollum

Link Here25th June 2016
Full story: Insulting Turkishness...Insulting Turkishness law used to repress
A Turkish man has been found guilty of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for likening him to the Gollum character from the Lord of the Rings .

A court gave Rifat Cetin a suspended one-year jail sentence and stripped him of parental custody rights.

He has insisted his images, comparing Erdogan with the grotesque-looking Gollum in 2014, were harmless. In 2014, Cetin published on Facebook three photos of Erdogan, then a prime minister, beside three pictures of Gollum with similar facial expressions.

Article 299 of the Turkish penal code states that anybody who insults Turkey's president can face a prison term of up to four years.

However, Cetin said he would appeal because Erdogan was not president at the time the pictures were published, Turkish media report.



Virtually 15...

ABE VR awarded first ever BBFC age certification for Virtual Reality.

Link Here24th June 2016

ABE VR, the new virtual reality experience from UK studio Hammerhead VR, is the first virtual reality experience to be reviewed and officially certified by the BBFC, under it's digital video classification.

In a first of its kind, the BBFC reviewed the virtual reality experience alongside the original 2D short film, granting both with a 15 age rating. Although both were similar in content, ABE VR was issued it's rating based on the bloody violence and threat classification criteria.

Alexandra Evans, Policy Director, BBFC, commented:

We were delighted to work with Hammerhead on this project and to be able to compare the VR and linear versions of ABE like for like. Though both versions received the same 15 rating, they raised different classification issues, specifically strong threat in the linear version, and bloody violence and threat in the VR version. This exercise shows how BBFC Classification Guidelines work for VR content and with this new technology, which offers an intense user experience, it is important that consumers, parents in particular, can access clear content advice about VR content before they experience it.

Simon Windsor, Joint Managing Director, Hammerhead VR commented:

The classification advice from the BBFC is an important step for Virtual Reality. With ABE VR we wanted to explore the heightened emotional connection that this storytelling medium can deliver, as well as the shear intensity and sense of dread - the results are powerful. As VR evolves and experiences become ever more believable, it will be increasingly important for VR content to be age rated.

Based on the award winning short film ABE , by Rob McLellan, ABE VR is faithful recreation of on the original story about a misguided robot seeking the unconditional love of humans -- at whatever cost.

ABE VR is available now and free to download on Oculus and SteamVR.



Extract Lack of context...

Social media companies not impressed by algorithmic detection of images associated with terrorism

Link Here24th June 2016
An system to remove terrorist imagery from the Internet has been proposed by a U.S. nonprofit, but tech companies are wary it could expunge journalistic images.

A Dartmouth College researcher and a nonprofit group say they have created a technology that can help Internet companies instantly detect images and videos generated by terrorists and their supporters and remove them from their platforms.

The White House has signaled its support. Lisa Monaco, Obama's assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism said:

We welcome the launch of initiatives such as the Counter Extremism Project's National Office for Reporting Extremism (NORex) that enables companies to address terrorist activity on their platforms and better respond to the threat posed by terrorists' activities online.

But a number of major social-media companies are wary of the idea. They say that there is no consensus in the United States or globally on what constitutes a terrorist image, and that they might end up expunging material posted by researchers or media organizations. And, they say, once a database is created, governments around the world will place additional data requests on them -- and some countries will probably demand the removal of legitimate political content under the guise of fighting terrorism.

...Read the full article from



Update: In the name of terrorism...

European Parliament considers EU wide internet website blocking

Link Here23rd June 2016
Full story: Internet Censorship in EU...EU introduces swathes of internet censorship law
The European Parliament is currently considering EU wide website blocking powers.

The latest draft of the directive on combating terrorism contains proposals on blocking websites that promote or incite terror attacks. Member states may take all necessary measures to remove or to block access to webpages publicly inciting to commit terrorist offences, says text submitted by German MEP and rapporteur Monika Hohlmeier.

Digital rights activists have argued that it leaves the door wide open to over-blocking and censorship as safeguards defending proportionality and fundamental rights can be skipped if governments opt for voluntary schemes implemented by ISPs.

Amendments have been proposed that would require any take down or Web blocking to be subject to full judicial oversight and rubber stamping.

Last week, Estonian MEP Marju Lauristin told Ars she was very disappointed with the text, saying it was jeopardising freedom of expression as enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of EU.

The measure will be up for a vote by the civil liberties committee on 27th June.



A touch too much...

Australian censors ban the console game MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death

Link Here23rd June 2016
MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death is a Japanese dungeon based role playing console game.

The Australian Classification Board has just banned the game citing a game feature allowing gamers to caress the breasts of the characters. The Australian censors decided that one of the characters depicts a child and so the game was banned.

Perhaps something the US game rating board missed as they gave the game a Teen (13) rating.

The censors explained:

The game features a variety of female characters dressed in provocative clothing with their cleavage emphasised by their clothing revealing the sides or underside of their breasts. The five main characters in the game are Machina Mages , females who pair with robot-like guardians in order to do battle. Four of the five,  Estra, Flare, Maki and Setia, although of indeterminate age, are all adult-like, with voluptuous bosoms and large cleavage that are flaunted with a variety of skimpy outfits.

The fifth main character, Connie, is depicted as child-like in comparison. She is flat-chested, under-developed physically (such as the hips), is significantly shorter than the other characters and wears her hair in pigtails. She also has a child-like voice, wears colourful child-like clothing and appears naive in her outlook on life. She is also referred to as a girl by the other main characters. In the Board's opinion, the character of Connie depicts a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18.

The game features use of the Playstation Vita's touchscreen feature, that allows the player to touch or run their finger across the touchscreen in order to make any female character's breasts move in response. The chest area of Connie is viewed moving slightly when this occurs, which is significantly different from the greater movement viewed when one of the four adult-like female characters is touched.



Updated: Just correcting a typo...

Now the US authorities are working on getting their own snooper's charter

Link Here23rd June 2016
The latest surveillance battle gripping the technology industry is focused on a rewrite of US surveillance law that would mean the justice department would be able to access a citizen's web browsing history, location data and some email records without approval from a judge using a so-called national security letters (NSLs).

The FBI contends that such data is covered implicitly under current statute, which was written years ago and only explicitly covers data normally associated with telephone records.

Director James Comey now is lobbying Congress to extend the current definition to include internet data.

Technology companies including Google, Facebook and Yahoo have sent a letter warning Congress that they would oppose any efforts to rewrite law in the FBI's favor.

This expansion of the NSL statute has been characterized by some government officials as merely fixing a 'typo' in the law, the companies wrote:

In reality, however, it would dramatically expand the ability of the FBI to get sensitive information about users' online activities without court oversight.

Update: Censored whilst claiming to be uncensored

11th June 2016. See  article from

A sly attempt to grant the FBI warrantless access to people's browser histories in the US has been shot down by politicians.

Unfortunately, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) Amendments Act of 2015, which would have brought in some privacy safeguards for Americans, was cut down in the crossfire.

The bill was halted because of an amendment tacked on by Senator John Cornyn on Tuesday that would allow the FBI to obtain someone's internet browsing history and the metadata of all their internet use without a warrant. If Cornyn's amendment was passed, the Feds would simply have to issue a National Security Letter (NSL) to get the information.

The bill's sponsors, Senators Patrick Leahy and Mike Lee, told a session of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary that Cornyn's amendment had wrecked years of careful bipartisan negotiations and would seriously harm US citizens' privacy. As such, they weren't prepared to let the bill go forward.

Update: And again

23rd June 2016. See  article from

The US Senate has struck down an amendment that would have allowed the FBI to track internet histories and communications without judicial oversight, but a re-vote could be called under Senate rules.

The amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act would have given the FBI the right to use National Security Letters (NSLs), which compel communications companies to hand over a customer's transactional records, including their browsing history, time spent online, and email metadata, but not the content of messages.

In addition, it would have made permanent a provision in the Patriot Act that would allow the same powers for those deemed to be individual terrorists to be treated as agents of foreign powers, a measure aimed at tracking so-called lone wolf operators.

It was introduced on Monday by Senators John McCain and Richard Burr. Senator John Cornyn has named the issue the FBI's top legislative priority and has tabled a further amendment to allow similar powers to law enforcement.



Offsite Article: Searching for blacklists...

Link Here23rd June 2016
Google has 9 of them and is the World's Biggest Censor. Its Power Must Be Regulated

See article from



Updated: Laughing out loud at Erdogan...

Erdogan now trying to sue prominent supporters of the poet being persecuted by the German state at the behest of Turkey

Link Here22nd June 2016
Full story: Erdogan Insulted in Europe...Free speech finds no refuge in Germany

A Cologne court has refused to grant an injunction against the chief executive of leading publishing house Axel Springer, Mathias Doepfner, at the behest of Tayyip Recep Erdogan.

Doepfner penned an open letter in support of a satirist mocking the Turkish leader.

Seeking a preliminary injunction, Erdogan requested that a lawsuit be filed against Doepfner. In a letter published by Die Welt in April, Doepfner said that he wholeheartedly endorsed the critical poem over which the German comic Jan Bohmermann has been facing defamation charges from Erdogan. He added:

For me your poem worked. I laughed out loud.

The lawyer's firm and Erdogan's office refused to comment on the matter, while the media group giant's spokeswoman said that by writing the letter Doepfner wanted to protect freedom of speech.

On Monday Erdoga's law firm announced on its website that it had been successful in obtaining a preliminary injunction against German director and producer Uwe Boll who had also reportedly backed the poem. However, neither Axel Springer, nor Doepfner himself was mentioned in the statement.

Update: Erdogan thwarted

22nd June  2016. See  article from

Erdogan's appeal was rejected by a German appeals court on Tuesday.

The lawyers of the Turkish president, however, said they still were considering whether to file a separate lawsuit against the Axel Springer CEO.



Updated: Film censor portrayed in bad light...

India's crazed censor under duress after his prolific scissorship was slapped down by the Bombay High Court

Link Here22nd June 2016
Udta Punjab is a 2016 India crime thriller by Abhishek Chaubey.
Starring Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Shahid Kapoor. BBFC link IMDb

What on earth can a rock star, a migrant laborer, a doctor and a cop possibly have in common? Simple, Punjab! 4 lives, 1 connection - 'Udta Punjab' takes you on a trip like never before. Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Diljit Dosanjh play characters from different walks of life, fighting the menace of drugs in their own way. The film journeys into the artificial highs and the real lows that they face while treading the paths fraught with mortal dangers. But above all, Udta Punjab is about the famed Punjabi spirit, that despite being fully down, has the audacity of looking you in the eye and saying - Drugs di maa di!

India's crazed film censor, Pahlaj Nihalani, is under duress after his decision to make 89 puerile cuts to a film wound up the local film industry, and let to a court battle which ended up humiliating the censor.

The film, Udta Punjab , will now be released on Friday with an adults only 'A' rating and just one cut.

India's central Board of Film 'Classification' (CBFC) originally demanded 89 cuts. The film board claimed that the movie portrayed Punjab in a bad light. The proposed cuts included removing every mention of the word Punjab from the film, deleting swear words and also a number of other words such as parliament , legislators and elections .

Chief censor Nihalani saw the writing on the wall as the case proceeded to court and reduced the cuts list to 13, but this did not appease his opponents.

The court ruled that the film must be certified for release in the next 48 hours with one scene showing a character urinating to be removed.

The producers of the film described the ruling as a victory for democracy. The films makers challenged the censors claim that the film promoted illegal drug use and questioned the integrity of India. The court rejected the censors claims and said:

We have read the script in its entirety to see if the film encourages drugs. We do not find that the film questions the sovereignty or integrity of India by mentioning the names of cities, or referring to a state or by a signpost, the judge said.

Responding to the judgement Nihalani rued that from now on, CBFC was meaningless. He said doors for films with obscene, vulgar content are open now and questions have been raised on the working of the censor board. He said:

It is undoubtedly a good judgement for the producers. I have been a producer too, so I am glad everyone is relieved today. But the CBFC has lost its meaning today. As the chairman of the CBFC, I have come to know that the board is not here to censor movies . I just want to point out that when the name of the board was changed from 'censor' to 'certification', the 1952 cinematograph Act that it follows, and its rule book were not changed.

We were just following those, and doing our job and was only implementing the act that was framed for CBFC to function with full honesty. I had put in place a proper system. We were doing what was expected of us -- to ensure films are free of content that is unnecessarily abusive and defamatory. But from today, the producers are free to produce anything they want.

They will now have the liberty to have obscenity, vulgarity in their movies. It is an open world for them as anything and everything they make will be cleared with an A certificate.

The board has the option of appealing against the verdict in the Supreme Court.

Update: Film Certificate notes that the film was passed by the Mumbai High Court

16th June 2016. See  article from

The India film censors of the CBFC have made a bit of censorship history by naming the judges as the presiding film censors responsible for the decision.

The certificate states: Passed by Hon'ble High Court, Mumbai. Share This Article Share Related Article

Mumbai Regional Officer Raju Vaidya, who has signed the certificate, said it was prepared as per norms. This is the norm; the name of whoever has cleared the film is on the certificate, he told The Indian Express .

However, a CBFC employee, who did not want to be named, said till date a film's certificate has never had to bear the name of judicial officers. It will carry names of the committee members present at the screening. And in this case, the judges anyway didn't watch the film. Other films rated after judicial intervention have not mentioned judges or the court on certificates.

Update: The BBFC take on the film

16th June 2016. See article from

The BBFC have rated the film 15 uncut for strong language, violence, threat, drug misuse, drug references

Update: Pakistan too

20th June 2016.  See  article from

After a trouble censorship process in India, it's now time for Udta Punjab to strugglewith Pakistan's film censors.

According to Fakhr-Alam, chairman of Censor Board Sindh, the film has been viewed by the Board and they have asked the distributor to make changes:

We have told the distributor to delete the bad language, swear words, which are extremely explicit and in direct conflict with the law and censor code. We will [then] review to see that the compliance has been adhered to and then issue a certificate.

Update: 100 cuts

20th June 2016. See  article from

The Pakistani censor board has given a green signal to the release of Indian movie Udta Punjab in Pakistan after suggesting more than 100 cuts to remove objectionable and anti-Pakistan content from the film.

Update: Mohalla Assi banned too

25th June 2016. See article from

The censor board has banned it's own board member Dr. Chandraprakash Diwedi's highly controversial film Mohalla Assi , which pokes fun at the commercialisation of the holy city of Varanasi.

The entire film, which features some of the most risque lines heard in films in recent times, was also leaked on the Internet before its submission. The censor board decided to ban it completely. Apparently, the film evoked extreme reactions from some of the members within the censor board.

The story, based on the well-known novel by Hindi writer Kashinath Singh is a scathing critique on the changes that have come upon the holy town of Varanasi.



Offsite Article: Money talks...

Link Here22nd June 2016
MPAA boss argues against a Single Digital Market for the EU claiming that a series of local monopolies is somehow good for consumers

See article from



Update: Choked with rage...

600 complaints about sex play on Big Brother

Link Here21st June 2016
600 whinges about Channel 5's Big Brother have triggered an investigation by the TV censor Ofcom.

Big Brother, which is regularly one of UK television's most-complained-about shows, prompted another Ofcom inquiry after contestants Laura Carter and Marco Pierre White Jr were involved in scenes of sex play. Pierre was shown putting his hand down his fellow housemate's knickers, pulling up her top and asking her to choke him with a belt.

Ofcom said it had received 634 complaints about the scenes which were broadcast on the 9pm show, just after the watershed, on 12 June. A spokesperson said:

We're investigating whether sexual scenes in this episode of Big Brother exceeded generally accepted standards for its time of broadcast.



Maintaining momentum against the Indian film censors...

Filmmakers protest against censor cuts to the film Kathakali

Link Here21st June 2016
The Malayalam film Kathakali has fallen foul of the regional office of India's Central Board of Film Classificaton (CNFC) who claim that the movie contains nudity and strong language.

The Film Employees' Federation of Kerala (FEFKA), a body of Malayalam film directors and technicians, staged a protest on Monday in front of CBFC's regional office. FEFKA general secretary and B Unnikrishnan said the censor board was indulging in politics and added that they would move the high court against the board's decision:

The CBFC is treating filmmakers as if we have committed a grave sin.

The two-hour film on the life of a Kathakali artiste is directed by Sijo Kannanaikkal. Recently, the CBFC asked for three cuts to be sanctioned for a U rating (unrestricted public exhibition).

The board wants the removal of a scene in which the protagonist Dasan is undressed and beaten up and another towards the end in which Dasan removes the Kathakali attire and walks towards the Bharathapuzha river. It also wants the cuss words removed.



Update: Aggregated censorship...

Russia's Duma passed law to require that large news aggregators submit to state censorship

Link Here20th June 2016
Russia's lower house of parliament, the Duma, has passed a bill that would censor the distribution of information by news aggregators with more than one million visitors a day.

Under the news censorship law, news aggregators such as Yandex will have to check that news is validated by state censors before it can be distributed. Russia's communications censor, Roskomnadzor, will have the power to ban news items. News aggregators will not be liable if 'unreliable information' is textual quotation from any media outlet.

The bill stipulates that only a Russian national or company may be an owner of news aggregators.

The law is expected to take effect on 1 January, 2017.



It's my movie and I'll censor it if I want to...

Hollywood takes legal action against another film service that self censors movies

Link Here20th June 2016
Hollywood is never very keen on people disfiguring their movies. Presumably they don't want people telling their friends that a movie is rubbish when the reason for the rubbish is badly censored dialogue or missing scenes.

Disney, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. Entertainment are suing a video streaming site that lets home viewers censor Hollywood movies to their personal moral preferences.

Utah-based VidAngel launched in 2015, with the stated goal of letting viewers watch self-censored versions of popular films and TV shows. As the company describes its service, customers buy movies on the site for $20 that they can sell back for the full purchase price after viewing, minus a $1 fee for standard definition films or $2 for HD. They then check filters showing what content they want censored, nudity, profanity, violence and watch a movie pre-scrubbed of anything they'd find objectionable for moral or religious reasons.

The company has argued that their service is legal under the Family Movie Act of 2005, a law that specifically exempts from copyright law any technology that hides or mutes portions of audio or video during at-home viewing.

The movie companies  argue that VidAngel is using the Family Movie Act to make money by renting out movies without permission.

VidAngel contends that its services are legal. CEO Neal Harmon said in a blog post:

We've hired great Hollywood attorneys. We're as confident now as we were when we launched that filtering a DVD or Blu-ray you own on your favorite devices is your right. We're ready.

Update: Details of legal action

3rd August 2016. See article from

In a joint statement, the studio plaintiffs said:

VidAngel is an unauthorized VOD streaming service, trying to undercut legitimate services like Netflix, Hulu and iTunes that license movies and TV shows from the copyright owners. This case isn't about whether filtering is lawful and we are not challenging legal uses of the Family Movie Act.



Update: Rum accusations...

Drinks censor dismisses ludicrous whinge from Alcohol Concern claiming that the Captain Morgan Rum label is a cartoon that appeals to children

Link Here19th June 2016
Complaint Summary by Alcohol Concern

We would like to ask the Panel to consider whether the Captain Morgan pirate logo used on bottles and other items by Diageo is in breach of Section 3.2 (h) of the Code, which states that a drink, its packaging or promotion should not have a particular appeal to under-18s, and in particular contravenes the guidance that cartoon-style imagery...bright colouring... pictures of real or fictional people known to children or terminology popular with children should not be featured.

It is indisputable that Captain Morgan as he appears on Diageo's packaging and marketing materials is a cartoon-style image with bright colouring. He is also clearly both a real and a fictional person known to children: the popularity of 17th and 18th century pirates with young children is attested to by a wealth of books, films and toys; and the Captain Henry Morgan, on whom the drink's branding is based, is both a well-known historical character and has been fictionalised in a number of stories in print and on screen.

Portman Group Panel Decision: Complaint not upheld

The Panel began by discussing whether the image used on the product range was a cartoon or cartoon-like in style and might therefore be particularly appealing to under 18s. The Panel discussed the image at length and considered that the image was not a cartoon or cartoon like and that it more closely resembled a piece of art or oil painting than it did a cartoon. The Panel recognised that the colours used on the image were of a mature, shaded hue and that the image lacked luminescence or the bright colours that might be appealing to a younger audience. The Panel also concluded that the image was very old fashioned and traditional in style and was reminiscent of Victorian book illustrations and did not resemble any modern cartoons or characters.

The Panel discussed whether the image exhibited any visual clues or similarities to the archetypal pirate image that is commonly used in children stories and would therefore be recognisable by, and appealing to, children. The Panel considered that there were no obvious similarities between the image used on the product and the pirate images commonly depicted in children's stories, such as an eye patch or wooden leg, and recognised that the image was of in fact of a 17th Century Sea Captain and not a pirate.

Considering the lack of resemblance between the Captain Morgan image and archetypal pirate commonly used in children's stories, the old fashioned and adult style of illustration and muted colours used, the Panel concluded that it did not breach Code rule 3.2(h).



A new age...

Windows sets a deadline for app developers to adopt the international age ratings scheme

Link Here18th June 2016
\Microsoft has announced that Windows Store apps face removal if they are not updated for the International Age Rating Coalition's (IARC) rating system by 30 September 2016.

The new IARC rating system was introduced by Microsoft at the start of the year as a way to simplify the age rating process. Developers must fill in a questionnaire with general descriptions of age related issues. Software will then generate age classifications for each relevant region, including the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) for North America, Pan European Game Information (PEGI) for Europe and the Classification Board (ACB) for Australia.

It is expected that many apps will be culled more for being no longer maintained, rather than any refusal to provide the required rating information.



Update: Disturbing the peace...

Australian customs resumes its censorship battle against Philip Nitschke's The Peaceful Pill Handbook

Link Here18th June 2016
Australia has resumed its censorship campaign against a book that provides information on euthanasia and assisted suicide to the elderly and the seriously ill.

The Peaceful Pill Handbook , written by euthanasia advocate and former doctor, Philip Nitschke , is published in Holland but copies have been seized on arrival in Australia. People who have ordered the book receive instead a note from customs which reads:

Customs prohibits importation of documents relating to suicide ... The importation of a device designed or customised to be used by a person to commit suicide is prohibited absolutely.

Zola Ortenburg received such a note and has written to the attorney general, George Brandis, to express her concern at the book being banned. The letter says:

Why should I, as a mature Australian woman, not be allowed to read what I choose?

Talking about this with my husband he reminded me that Adolf Hitler ordered books should be destroyed in 1933. How far away are from this happening in Australia?

Does this mean that Australian Border Force has an oversupply of staff or perhaps should they be better utilised in stopping the ever increasing importation of drugs and there ingredients not to mention the guns and everything to do with them.

Author Philip Nitschke said.

These seizures are a new and worrying development and I'm taken aback by yet another attempt by the federal government to interfere with the choices and decisions of elderly Australians. The heavy handed use of censorship to restrict access to the Peaceful Pill Handbook, now the world's best selling manual on accessing a peaceful death, shows how fragile any notion of free speech is in this country.

Australia is the only country in the world that is trying to restrict access to this book.



Offsite Article: Bad value for a massive loss of privacy...

Link Here18th June 2016
Tesco Mobile customers should think twice before viewing ads for a £3 a month discount

See article from



The price of censorship...

Rammstein wins damages from German censors who effectively banned a 2009 CD from general sale

Link Here17th June 2016
The regional court in Bonn has decided that the German censors who effectively banned Rammstein''s CD, Liebe ist für alle da , acted illegally and must pay the band 15,000 euros in damages.

This assessment from the Bonn Regional Court upheld the decision of the Cologne Administrative Court. The ban was triggered by the Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons in Bonn.

The rock band had sued the Federal Republic of Germany for just under 70,000 euros. In 2009, the Federal Department had put the CD on the index for youth-endangering media, because one of the songs titled I hurt you you was classified as brutalizing and immoral.

The 'classification' banned all promotion and advertising for the CD and imposed suffocating restrictions at the point of sale. The ban continued for 6 months until the Cologne Administrative Court lifted the ban.

The Bonn judge said the censors had weighed insufficiently between artistic freedom and youth protection. However the court downsized the amount of damages from that requested.

The parties now have one month to consider this proposal.



Scammers and extortionists...

Copyright trolls slammed in the House of Lords

Link Here17th June 2016
Copyright trolls operating in the UK will be doing so a little less confidently this morning after being slammed in the House of Lords yesterday. Lord Lucas named and shamed several companies involved in the practice, describing them as scammers and extortionists while urging the government to take action.

The Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill was introduced in the House of Lords during May 2016.

Among other things, the draft legislation aims to protect companies and individuals from threats of expensive IP litigation where no infringement has taken place.

While aimed largely at patents, trademarks and other design rights, during a Lords Grand Committee hearing yesterday the hot topic of unfounded threats against Internet users was thrust onto the agenda. Lord Lucas , who previously tackled the infamous ACS:Law, was again at the forefront. He said:

The world is full of people who like to play a junior game of what this bill addresses. A few years ago I had a small role in the demise of ACS Solicitors which were thankfully sacked by the law society

They were shaking down Internet users for allegedly infringing copyright on pornography and other low grade media. Their evidence was extremely suspect and was never tested in court. ACS made its money from their threats and never took anyone to court, though it used the courts to target its victims via Norwich Pharmacal Orders .

Some careless person has dropped blood onto the ashes of ACS and the same scam is alive again. The same thin evidence. They have an IP address, they have not revealed how they get that IP address. But, given that IP address, they go through the same Norwich Pharmacal [ISP disclosure] procedure.

This time, to remove the vulnerability that ACS found, the solicitor involved, Wagner and Co , withdraws after obtaining the Norwich Pharmacal Order, so they're not involved in the threat processes which are undertaken by shell companies. There doesn't seem to be any redress for people threatened or for ISPs who are asked to comply with Norwich Pharmacal orders.

If anybody comes across the names of Hatton and Berkeley , RangerBay, GoldenEye International , Mircom International and TCYK...I  really urge them to put [their correspondence] in the bin. The current scammers aren't pursuing anyone [in court] they're just after threats, and extortion, and shaking people down.

I applaud our government for helping businesses avoid unjustified threats but I would really like to know what they intend to do to help the granny [ accused by TCYK recently ] who is being threatened by their smaller, nastier cousins with allegations that she has been downloading illegally.



Offsite Article: Thousands will be watching...

Link Here17th June 2016
The Olympics Are Turning Rio into a Military State

See article from



Offsite Article: My Case Against Lenovo...

Link Here17th June 2016
Lenovo computers configured, at least in Mexico, to make it impossible for owners to run Linux instead of Windows

See article from



As if it could damage the image of the army any more than the 50 years of repression...

Twilight Over Burma banned from film festival by the film censor

Link Here16th June 2016
Twilight Over Burma is a 2015 Austria TV drama by Sabine Derflinger.
Starring Zoe Addams, Sahajak Boonthanakit and Daweerit Chullasapya. IMDb

The U.S. scholarships Austrian student Inge and young mining student from Burma Sao Kya Seng fall in love. But it's only at the lavish wedding ceremony that Inge discovers her husband is the ruling prince of the Shan state of Burma. After a coup staged by the Burmese military, Sao is imprisoned. Inge does everything she can to free him. Base on the true story of Inge Sargent.

An Austrian TV movie, Twilight Over Burma, has been banned from a Burmese human rights film festival by the local film censor.

Burma's Film Classification Board's deputy director general Daw Thida Tin told the BBC that the film had been banned for the sake of national unity and also the stability of the country and of our people .

the film festival organisers say they were also told that the censors saw the film as damaging to the image of the army.

Twilight Over Burma tells the true story of an Austrian woman Inge Eberhard (now Sargent) who fell in love and married a Burmese prince from the Shan ethnic group. The film shows how their exotic life in the hills of Shan State is destroyed by Burma's military coup of 1962. Ms Eberhard's husband Sao Kya Seng ends up being detained by the army before dying in mysterious circumstances.



BBC Pride...

The first gay kiss on British television has been found in a forgotten archive

Link Here16th June 2016
The first lesbian kiss on British television is to be shown again for the first time in more than forty years, after a tape of the BBC play, Girl , was unearthed in a forgotten archive.

Girl, a BBC Two drama about lesbian love in the army, made headlines in 1974 after Alison Steadman and Myra Frances were shown locked in a passionate embrace.

Unfortunately the recording quality was not good, but the BBC has now digitised the film, and will make it available for download via the BBC Store.

Steadman said she had been quite nervous about taking the part. She recalled:

I thought my mum would be a bit embarrassed by comments from neighbours, but they took it well.

The film will form part of a collection chronicling gay milestones on the BBC, released to coincide with London's Pride festival. The Prejudice and Pride Collection is available on from Thursday 16th June.



Internet heroes and Villains...

UK ISP trade group announces its nominations for the heroes and villains awards

Link Here16th June 2016
Surveillance, privacy, broadband and cyber security all recognised at the ISPA Awards in Hero and Villain nominations

Donald Trump, Apple, the Internet troll, the Web Foundation, Mossack Fonseca, Jo Cherry QC MP and Sir Keir Starmer QC MP are amongst those shortlisted for Internet Hero and Villain at the 2016 ISPA Awards, the 18th UK Internet Industry Awards. The nominations, based on crowdsourced suggestions from the public with a final shortlist determined by the ISPA Council, recognise those who have done the most to help or hinder the Internet industry in the last twelve months. David Davis MP and Tom Watson MP were joint winners of the Internet Hero award last year with Home Secretary Theresa May MP named as Villain.

Internet Heroes

Once again surveillance and privacy are the dominant themes in this year's awards. Jo Cherry and Keir Starmer MPs have been nominated for their sterling efforts to improve the Investigatory Powers Bill, as has their parliamentary colleague and chair of the Science and Technology Committee, Nicola Blackwood MP . The fundamental principle of encryption and customer privacy has been featured, with Apple nominated as a hero for its role in defending privacy, whilst the FBI are recognised as villains for undermining encryption.

The shortlist also goes beyond surveillance, recognising the Web Foundation for helping connect some of the most remote global communities, and to ThinkBroadband Editor, Andrew Ferguson , for years of tirelessly informing consumers about their broadband options.

Internet Villains

The Internet Villain shortlist is one of the most diverse ever. Donald Trump is nominated for famously calling on industry to 'close down parts of the Internet', showing a perceived complete lack of understanding of how the web works. Mossack Fonseca (of Panama Papers fame) are nominated for their poor cyber-security, TCYK LLP are nominated for their 'speculative invoicing' campaign aimed at alleged copyright infringers that an MP described as 'ludicrous'. The "internet troll" is nominated too for making the Internet a hostile space for some people, completely overstep the bounds of reasonable behaviour and free speech. The FBI also receive a nomination for their efforts to undermine customer privacy and cyber security.

Announcing the shortlists, ISPA Secretary General Nicholas Lansman said "The Internet Hero and Villain awards go to those who have helped or hindered the Internet industry. These nominations, many from the public, reflect the importance of privacy, cyber security and great broadband and the work many MPs have done scrutinising the Investigatory Powers Bill. These awards are light-hearted in nature, but do contain a serious point, and I look forward to finding out who won in July."

The 2016 Internet Hero shortlist
  • Nicola Blackwood MP -- For her Committee's report into the Investigatory Powers Bill, which contained sensible recommendations around encryption, equipment interference and a commitment to full cost recovery, to limit the Bill's impact on the tech sector
  • Jo Cherry QC MP & Sir Keir Starmer QC MP -- For their continued scrutiny of the Investigatory Powers Bill as the legislation passes through Parliament at a fast pace
  • Apple -- For defending the fundamental principles of encryption and customer privacy
  • Andrew Ferguson, Editor, ThinkBroadband -- for editing an invaluable resource that explains and maps out broadband to inform consumers
  • Web Foundation -- For working to extend the basic right of connectivity to the 60% of the global population unable to connect to the internet and enjoy the myriad benefits of internet access
The 2016 Internet Villain shortlist
  • Donald Trump -- For calling on industry to 'close' parts of the Internet
  • Mossack Fonseca -- For demonstrating poor cyber security practices
  • The FBI -- For attempting to undermine security by compelling technology companies to bypass existing security features
  • ' The Internet Troll' -- For overstepping the bounds of free speech, threatening the principle of an Internet for all
  • TCYK LLP -- For its heavy-handed 'speculative invoicing' campaign aimed at alleged copyright infringers
About the ISPA Awards

The 2016 ISPA Awards are the 18th Annual UK Internet Industry Awards. The awards event will take place on 7th July 2016 at The Brewery in the City of London. There are sixty organisations nominated across the seventeen awards .



Psychology of the bleedin' obvious...

Academics find that people who frequently view topless images in the national press are less likely to think of them as porn than people who don't often view them

Link Here16th June 2016
Researchers Sophie Daniels and Dr Simon Duff from the University of Nottingham are presenting a paper to annual conference of the British Psychological Society's Division of Forensic Psychology. The researchers claim that:

Frequent viewers of soft-core pornography, such as photographs of naked and semi-naked female models, are unlikely to think positively about women and are likely to have become desensitised to soft-core pornography common in newspapers, advertising and the media.

Daniels and Duff examined the relationship between frequency of exposure to soft-core pornographic images of women and attitudes towards women, rape myths and level of sensitivity or desensitisation to the images.

The results indicated that people who frequently viewed soft-core pornographic images were less likely to describe these as pornographic than people who had low levels of exposure to these images. People who were desensitised to these images were more likely than others to endorse rape myths. Furthermore, people who frequently viewed these images were less likely to have positive attitudes to women.

The researchers claim that an argument could be made for greater media regulation and censorship of soft-core pornographic images of women.

[Melon Farmers have been doing their own bleedin' obvious research, and have found that people who frequently viewed feminist writings are less likely to describe them as politically correct feminist gobbledygook than people who had low levels of exposure to such nonsense].



Searching for censorship...

Religious conservatives in Indonesia protest against pornography on Google and YouTube

Link Here15th June 2016
Hundreds of people from the Indonesian Islamic Organization, Muhammadiyah, demonstrated in Surabaya, East Java province to urge Google and YouTube to remove pornographic content.

A demonstration coordinator, M Arif An, said that the protest was the first step taken by Muhammadiyah and its affiliated organizations to act decisively in combating pornography.

Arif claimed porn content has destroyed younger generations and was causing immoral behavior:

A lot of crimes involved influence of pornographic content.

Any content considered propagating radical Islam is very quickly blocked by the ministry. We urge that porn content must also be removed immediately.

For some reason he did not mention the infinitely greater amount of misery and violence around the world directly attributable to religion.

Muhammadiyah is an influential and conservative islamic organisation with about 29 million members.



Cleaning up on the Queen's honours list...

IWF Chief Executive is awarded on OBE

Link Here15th June 2016

Susie Hargreaves is Chief Executive of the IWF, the Cambridge based organisation that works internationally to help remove online child sexual abuse imagery. She has been awarded her OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for her work in the field of online child protection.

On hearing of her award, Susie said:

This is a great honour not only for me, but the whole IWF team. It is because of the dedicated work done by our team of analysts, that we've been able to make such a significant global impact in the battle to against online child sexual abuse images and videos. So I have them to thank for this recognition and I am extremely proud of the success of IWF and the work of our whole team.



Offsite Article: Trolls brought to justice...

Link Here15th June 2016
Notorious porn copyright troll committed fraud on courts according to the 9th Circuit appeal court

See article from



Update: Body image censors...

London's mayor asks Transport for London to set up its own advert censor

Link Here14th June 2016

Adverts promoting unpolitically correct body images will be banned across the Transport for London (TfL) network from next month.

London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, has asked TfL to set up its own advertising censors.

The so called 'steering group' will advise TfL's advertising partners and stakeholders of the mayor's new policy and will ensure adverts continue to adhere to the regulations set out by the ASA. Khan said:

As the father of two teenage girls, I am extremely concerned about this kind of advertising which can demean people, particularly women, and make them ashamed of their bodies. It is high time it came to an end.

Graeme Craig, TfL commercial development director, said:

Advertising on our network is unlike TV, online and print media. Our customers cannot simply switch off or turn a page if an advertisement offends or upsets them and we have a duty to ensure the copy we carry reflects that unique environment.

Feminists were quick to support the move but interestingly the BBC also noted that social media users warned it was the start of the Islamification of London and said the mayor was adopting this policy because of his religious values.



Update: Escorted out of India...

Indian internet censors try a new angle

Link Here14th June 2016
Full story: Internet Censorship in India...India considers blanket ban on internet porn
India's internet censors have demanded that local ISPs block 240 escort service websites.

The communications and IT ministry on Monday ordered the censorship of,,,,,,,, and

About a year ago the government tried to block notable porn sites but it caused an uproar, and the government reversed its censorship. Escort services are not likely to be widely supported so no doubt the government will get its thin edge wedged in.



Watch sensibly!...

Ludicrous advice from the Thai government about watching Euro 2016 safely

Link Here14th June 2016

Thailand's Public Health Ministry has ludicrously warned football fans to avoid getting overly excited while watching Euro 2016 lest those heart-stopping moments literally prove fatal.

The minsitry published advice calling on fans to ward off heart attacks by making sure they get enough rest and avoid long binges of football-fuelled excitement. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, the deputy permanent secretary for public health, told reporters:

The ministry would like to advise all sport lovers -- teenagers, students, working people and the elderly -- to watch sensibly, Allocate appropriate time for watching and resting.

The ministry urged those with diabetes and heart problems to make sure they continue to take medication. It said those who work hard, even the young, should also take care. Suwanchai continued:

If your bodies are weak, fans should only watch the matches they are interested in or watch replays instead. Do enough rest, exercise, eat healthy foods and avoid alcohol.

Somehow the health and safety minister didn't mention the more pertinent advice of avoiding Russian football thugs.

Police said that during the 2014 World Cup, more than 800 football gambling websites in Thailand were shut down and almost 1,000 people, mostly gamblers, were arrested.



Offsite Article: Violent Video Games and The US Supreme Court:...

Link Here14th June 2016
Full story: Violent Games in the US...Attempts to restrict video games from minors
5 years on since California was prevented from censoring video games in the name of child protection. By Christopher J. Ferguson

See article from



Offsite Article: Jigsaw and uProxy...

Link Here14th June 2016
Censorship and the Future of the Internet According to Yasmin Green

See article from



Twats at the BBC...

The BBC Trust upholds a complaint about a light hearted use of the word 'twat' before the watershed

Link Here13th June 2016

Don't Tell the Bride
BBC3,25 January 2016 (8.00pm): Finding by the Editorial Complaints Unit

In an exchange between the bride and her elder sister, the word twat was used. A viewer complained that this was inappropriate before the watershed, and should at least have been preceded by a warning.

Outcome: Complaint Upheld

Although not among the terms characterised by the Editorial Guidelines as the strongest language (which must not be used on television before the watershed), the word twat is unusual in having an innocent meaning for some viewers but an obscene meaning for others. On this occasion it was used in an affectionate context and without any sense of aggression, but this was not sufficient to mitigate the offence it is capable of causing to a segment of the audience.

The finding was widely discussed and debated by senior editorial figures in BBC Television and has been noted.



Miserable Singapore...

Theatre censors force the removal of a brief gay kiss in Les Miserables

Link Here13th June 2016
A brief kiss between two male actors in the musical Les Miserables in Singapore has been censored from the show. The scene involved a brief peck on the lips during the song Beggars at the Feast.

After being told it violated its General rating, the producers decided to remove the kiss, the theatre censors at the Media Development Authority (MDA) said. The censors explained:

The inclusion of the same-sex kiss was not highlighted in the script when it was submitted to MDA for classification. The performance was thus given a 'General' rating, MDA said. MDA will take action against this breach of licensing conditions.

Gay discrimination seems to be falling rapidly down the PC pecking order and gay related content suddenly seems up for censorship throughout the world.



Update: Fruitless Whingeing...

Alcohol Concern complainst about Kopparberg Frozen Fruit Cider packaging

Link Here13th June 2016
Full story: UK Drinks Censor...Portman Group play PC censor for drinks
The anti-drink campaign group Alcohol Concern has whinged about the packaging for Kopparberg Frozen Fruit Cider. The campaigners claimed that the drink did not make clear that it contained alcohol and that the packaging would appeal to youngsters due to similarities with an unspecified popular non-alcoholic drink.

The complaint was not upheld by the Independent Complaints Panel (ICP), part of the Portman Group, an industry organisation that censors UK drinks packaging.

The Panel discussed whether the alcoholic nature of the drink was communicated with absolute clarity. They found that the word cider and contains alcohol were prominent on the packaging as was the ABV strength. Accordingly, the Panel did not uphold the product under Code rule 3.1

The Panel deliberated whether the packaging could particularly appeal to those under 18. The Panel noted a number of significant differences in comparison to the packaging of well-known soft drinks. The product did not have a straw and was not designed to be consumed directly from the pouch. The product was intended to be taken home, frozen and then poured into a glass. The Panel considered that this ritual was targeted at an adult audience.

The Panel also concluded that the colours used on the packaging, particularly the use of black, gave the product a premium appearance that would be more appealing to adults.

Accordingly, the Panel did not uphold the product under Code rule 3.2(h), particular appeal to children.



Censorship Gems...

Sweden censors dialogue of lesbian relationship in a children's TV cartoon

Link Here12th June 2016
Gay issues seem to be slipping down the political correctness pecking order, perhaps with gay discrimination dropping below religious discrimination. Even Sweden is now censoring gay relationships on TV, perhaps to avoid 'offending' their newly arrived refugees.

Swedish authorities have just been caught censoring a brewing lesbian romance between two main characters in an episode of popular Cartoon Network show Steven Universe.

Steven Universe, which premiered in 2013 in the US on Cartoon Network, revolves around the fictional Beach City where a boy called Steven hangs out with his friends, who are Crystal Gems who can fuse to create more powerful characters. In particular Ruby and Sapphire are both female gems and are very much in love with one another.

The Swedish-dubbed version of the show's episode Hit the Diamond about a baseball match has been censored to mute some of the romantic dialogue between Ruby and Sapphire. Eg removing the lines:

Ruby: Just look at the ball -- Titter på bollen (Just look at the ball)

Sapphire: I'm trying, but all I wanna look at is you -- Jag försöker, jag har problem med koncentrationen ( I'm trying, I have problems with concentration)

Ruby: Do not worry, you can look at me when you're running for home -- Ingen fara, fokusera på segern när du springer runt (No worries, focus on victory when you run)

The censored conversation prompted an angry reaction. A 1300 signature petition saw the dubbing as:

An active choice to censor the relationship that Ruby and Sapphire have?¦

This happens in 2016 in Sweden, a country that is known worldwide for being progressive in its views and accepting of LGBTQ+ people.

If the two female characters are in love in the original show, there is no reason that we in Sweden would change this relationship.

The authors demanded that Cartoon Network issues a written promise never to censor Ruby and Sapphire's relationship in their translation or otherwise, as well as to stop mistranslating occasions when these two female characters show love for each other.

Cartoon Network confirmed that the censorship was a local intervention and is not attributable to the US branch.



Updated: A new struggle...

Book publisher set to release the first modern German language edition of Hitler's Mein Kampf without contextualising annotations

Link Here12th June 2016
Full story: Mein Kampf...Censorship issues with Hitler's book
The German Right-wing publisher Schelm-Verlag  intends to release a version of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf without annotations.

Amid much furor, Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf returned to German bookstores in January - albeit in annotated form. The first editions, with around 3,700 comments from historians, intended to put the diatribe into context, sold out within weeks.

The publication was made possible only this year after the book's copyright had expired, 70 years after Hitler's death. Legally speaking, the work is considered seditious. But with the annotations by the Munich-based Institute for Contemporary History, the legal case for publication was sound. That's not necessarily the case for the new unannotated edition.

Schelm, based in Leipzig, is already taking orders on its website for the unaltered reprint, which the publisher says will serve as a source of public education, help defend against unconstitutional efforts and provide historical documentation for the academic world.

Update: Censored whilst claiming to be uncensored

12th June 2016. See  article from

An Italian newspaper has generated a little 'outrage' for a promotion offering free copies of an annotated version of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf . Il Giornale started selling an eight-volume history of the Third Reich, with the annotated copy of Mein Kampf free for readers who bought the first volume.

The Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi, said on Twitter that Il Giornale's decision to give away the copies of the Nazi leader's political treatise was squalid, as he expressed solidarity with Italy's Jewish community:

But Il Giornale, a centre-right daily owned by the family of Berlusconi, claimed the decision to distribute the edition of the text, which includes critical notes by an Italian historian, aimed to study what is evil to avoid its return .



The Daily Mail recommends...

A few 'hardcore' artworks at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

Link Here12th June 2016
The Daily Mail writes:

Visitors to the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy this year will be shocked to find sexually explicit sculptures that have been condemned as beyond the limits of public decency .

The most controversial pieces are clay sculptures by amateur Michael Stokes. Sucky Moll , depicts a couple in flagrante, while I'm All Right Jack shows a man contorting to perform a sexual act on himself. They will be in a dedicated room that will also include the explicit painting Suck by Merlin James..

The show, which starts tomorrow, is open to all ages but the Royal Academy said there will be warnings of adult content at main entrances and the specific room. It is believed to be the first time such warnings have been in place.

The Daily Mail dug up a few 'outraged' sound bites.

Sir Roy Strong, prudish former director of the V&A, said:

I am an old-fashioned Anglican who doesn't find this sort of thing pleasant. It does raise the wider question of the nature of the age we live in.

I don't want to sound like a Victorian prude ...BUT... the problem is we have a society built on relativism. We don't have a society with any moral framework any more.

Norman Wells, of the Family Education Trust, said:

The Royal Academy is pushing the boundaries beyond the limits of good taste and public decency. Parents and grandparents taking children to the exhibition in order to promote their appreciation and understanding of art will neither expect nor want to be confronted with works of this nature.

And Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said:

I think the director of the gallery should think again.'



Soulless Censors...

Lithuania demands the take down of posters advertising Iron Maiden concert

Link Here11th June 2016
Iron Maiden' s The Book of Souls tour poster has been banned in Lithuania for being scary for children.

The heavy metal band are currently on a world tour with one poster showing their gory monster mascot Eddie the Head holding a bleeding heart in his claws and baring his yellow teeth.

Lithuania has taken exception to the promo material and ordered it to be removed from billboards because it scares children and so violates the country's child protection laws.

A band spokesman said that the outcry was surprising when the advertising has not caused problems anywhere else.



Offsite Article: Hulking bullies...

Link Here11th June 2016
Bankrupting Gawker over a grudge isn't justice. It's censorship. By Nicky Woolf

See article from



Married to Censorship...

Kenya film censor wants to extend his remit to wedding videos

Link Here10th June 2016
The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) now wants to censor wedding videos and for videographers airing their works in public to be licenced.  The KFCB said:

A videographer who exhibits, distributes or broadcasts a film to the public ought to obtain a filming license. A videographer intending to exhibit or sale the recorded content publicly must adhere to the law.

The call comes from a  Commission led by Ezekiel Mutua which has already been criticised for overstepping on its mandatews.

KFCB also wants all broadcasters to submit programmes for rating starting July 1 this year.



Updated: Neon hype...

The Neon Demon has been passed 18 uncut by the BBFC, inevitably not heeding the Daily Mail's call for a ban

Link Here9th June 2016
The Neon Demon is a 2016 France / USA / Denmark horror thriller by Nicolas Winding Refn.
Starring Elle Fanning, Christina Hendricks and Keanu Reeves. BBFC link IMDb

When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.

For some reason The Daily Mail has picked up on the film for its latest censorship rant. The latest article is titled: Has cinema ever been so depraved and the censors so amoral? See  article from

Any way the BBFC hasn't paid any heed and the film has just been passed uncut and 18 rated for strong bloody images, necrophilia, sexual assault for:
  • 2016 cinema release

Meanwhile in the US the film was rated R for disturbing violent content, bloody images, graphic nudity, a scene of aberrant sexuality, and language.

Offsite Comment: The Daily Mail Is Up In Arms Again!

6th June 2016. See  article from

Melon Farmers contributor, Pooch, blogs at Cinema Extreme and has written about the Daily Mail article noted above. He writes:

The beloved (that's sarcasm) Daily Mail has got its underwear in a bunch again, over another forthcoming film, and - despite the journalist concerned not actually having seen the film at all - she wants the BBFC to ban it.

...Read the full article from

Update: 12 in France

9th June 2016.  From IMDb

The film will be released uncut in Germany and Switzerland with an age rating of 16. Norway agrees with the UK 18 rating, whilst France inevitably goes for the lowest rating of all, 12.



Update: Passed by the Authoritarian Alliance...

Snooper's Charter law completes in the Commons supported by Labour and the Conservatives

Link Here9th June 2016
MPs have voted in the final Commons stage of the Investigatory Powers Bill. They voted in favour of the bill by 444 to 69.

Some MPs - particularly Joanna Cherry, David Davis, Alistair Carmichael and Stephen McPartland - did a great job in putting the Government under pressure. SNP, Lib Dem and Green MPs voted against.

The Bill will now be debated in the House of Lords

The Open Rights Group have highlighted the Filter as the nastiest part of the bill which unifies website history and communication records into a single searchable database. The group explains:

The bill is very long and complex, and hundreds of amendments have been proposed. However, the Request Filter in particular is receiving far too little attention . With a huge range of issues to deal with, the Request Filter has been absent from the discussions from the front benches, despite being the one of two completely new developments in the Bill. As the IPB enters report stage we need to ensure that the Filter gets the attention it deserves from MPs.

The Request Filter is described by the Home Office as a safeguard designed to reduce the collateral intrusion produced in searching for small, specific information in a large dataset. In reality, the Request Filter would allow automated complex searches across the retained data from all telecommunications operators.

This has the potential for population profiling, composite fishing trips and the unaccountable generation of new insights. It is bulk data surveillance without the bulk label, and without any judicial authorisation at all. The Food Standards Agency will be able to self-authorise itself to cross reference your internet history with your mobile phone location and landline phone calls--and search and compare millions of other people's records too.

Queries can be made across datasets. Location data - which pub you were in - can be compared with who you phoned, or which websites you visit. All with great convenience, through automated search. The searches will be increasingly focused on events, such as a website visited , or place people have gathered, rather than the suspects. This is the reverse of the position today, which requires the police to focus on suspects, and work outwards. In the future, with the Filter, any query can examine the data of thousands of innocent persons - to check that they don't fit the police's search criteria.

The idea of passive retained records, that lie unexamined until someone comes to the attention of the authorities, will lie dead. The data becomes an actively checked resource, allowing everyone's potential guilt to be assessed as needed.

The Filter creates convenience for law enforcement queries, and pushes practice towards the use of intrusive capabilities. It lowers the practical level on which they are employed. Techniques that today would be used only in the most serious crimes, because they require thought and care, tomorrow may be employed in run of the mill criminal activity, public order, or even food standards, as the bill stands.

The Filter was at the centre of debates when the original Snooper's Charter was first introduced in 2012. Parliament described the Request Filter at the time as essentially a federated database of all UK citizens' communications data .

This dystopian surveillance tool should be stopped, and next week MPs will have the chance to do it. There are several amendments presented by the Lib-Dem MP Alistair Carmichael that aim to remove the filter.

Another MP, the Conservative Stephen McPartland , who was part of the Science and Technology Committee and understands the implications of the Filter, has tabled a series of amendments with measures designed to constrain the power. These include restricting the Filter to exceptional circumstances, putting it under the control of the Judicial Commissioner as other bulk powers, and bringing it into the statute book as formal Regulations - so it is subjected to the normal transparency and processes of judicial review.

It is important that all those amendments get debated. We want the complete removal of the filter. McPartland's amendments describe the minimum requirements even a proponent should be seeking, but more importantly give MPs an opportunity to be told what the filter is, what it is capable of, and why the government plans so little oversight for it.

The nature of the Filter must be discussed to expose the Orwellian doublespeak characterisation by the Home Office of this surveillance tools as a safeguard to improve privacy.



Contains strong action...

BBFC unsurprisingly takes action against music website using BBFC rating symbols without actually submitting the videos

Link Here8th June 2016

BBFC Successfully Asserts its IP Rights

U Music TV Limited (which is in no way related to Universal Music or UMTV), wrongly claimed that all its content had been rated U and PG when in fact none of its content carried a BBFC age rating. It also made unauthorised use of BBFC classification symbols. On legal advice, the BBFC wrote to the channel to assert its IP rights. The channel has now removed all uses of the BBFC symbols, all references to BBFC Classification Guidelines and all claims to an association with the BBFC. It has also given undertakings against future breaches of BBFC intellectual property rights.

David Austin Chief Executive, BBFC, said:

The BBFC actively protects its IP and we are pleased to confirm the offending claims and uses of the BBFC Classification symbols have now been removed. Illegitimate use of BBFC age ratings is potentially confusing to consumers, particularly as the BBFC's symbols are widely licensed for use by online VoD platforms and for certain online music videos submitted to us for classification. Misleading consumers into believing content is classified by the BBFC is potentially damaging to our reputation and to the high levels of trust the public places in BBFC classifications.

Research carried out by the BBFC in 2015 found that 85% of parents consider it important to have consistent classification online and offline, while online classification checking is now approaching the level of checking undertaken by parents for cinema films, with 81% checking age ratings for VOD content.

The BBFC licenses its age ratings and Classification symbols to VoD platforms carrying content classified by the BBFC. It also gives permission in certain circumstances for use of its symbols for other purposes, if relevant disclaimers and terms of use are agreed in advance.



Update: Symbolic of our struggle against oppression...

German conviction for screening Life of Brian upheld on appeal, so now the conviction will be challenged in the Constitutional Court

Link Here7th June 2016
Full story: Monty Python...Monty Python winds up the nutters
Three years ago Martin Budich, the organizer of a group called Religious Freedom in the Ruhr , decided to put on a public viewing of the comedy classic Monty Python's Life of Brian on Good Friday in the western city of Bochum.

But three years later Budich is preparing to face the highest court in the land for the simple act of showing a film which is rated suitable for children in most countries. Budich explained to The Local.

Showing the film was a deliberate act of rebellion against the holiday laws which every German state has, and which prevent people from partying - or showing films that are not approved by the state - on religious holidays.

On Thursday the final obstacle to taking this law to the constitutional court was removed, after the High Court in North Rhine-Westphalia upheld a ruling from a lower court that ordered Budich to pay a 100 euro fine.

He can now appeal the decision in Federal Constitutional Court which will have to consider whether the prohibition of showing the movie was in breach of Budich's constitutional rights.



Extract Puck Censorship!...

BBC censors Shakespeare over politically correct concerns that being willing to die for love could be a suicide 'trigger'

Link Here7th June 2016

Russell T Davies revealed this week that he removed one of Helena's lines from his version of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream because he considers it irresponsible to transmit today.

Davies cut a declaration from Helena that she would be willing to die for love, in case, he said, it romanticised the idea of suicide.  He told the Hay literary festival:

I'm deliberately hoping to get young girls watching this and I will not transmit lines in which women are so much in love that they are threatening to commit suicide.

He also removed a line in which Helena asked a man to treat me as your spaniel ; it is not known if this was on the grounds of misogyny or animal rights.

See the article from for additional examples of BBC censorship including changing the character name Titty to Tatty in Swallows and Amazons



Offsite Article: Podcast Episode 51: Romeo and Juliet (1968)...

Link Here7th June 2016
The first Shakespeare film to receive an 'A' rating over the usual 'U' rating

See article from



Update: Feminist porn maker thrashes censors...

Pandora Blake wins her appeal against her website being censored by ATVOD

Link Here6th June 2016

  Pandora Blake, award-winning activist and feminist pornographer, has won her appeal to Ofcom against ATVOD and can reinstate her site Dreams of Spanking, which was banned under the AVMS guidelines in August 2015, triggering widespread anger among free speech advocates as well as porn fans.

The controversial Audiovisual Media Services Regulations came into effect in December 2014, banning consensual sex acts from online porn including facesitting, female ejaculation, and spanking that leaves marks. Pandora Blake took part in the facesitting protest outside Westminster, and also spoke on Newsnight and Women's Hour challenging the sexist and regressive nature of the regulations. She believes that speaking out made her a target for censorship.

ATVOD - the Association for TV on Demand - were tasked with regulating online porn in 2010. While porn critics often focus on the mainstream industry, ATVOD made a point of targeting independent niche and fetish porn producers, including a disproportionate number of female filmmakers. In January 2016, Ofcom shut down the quango amid rumours that it was acting beyond its remit.

Pandora Blake said:

The point of Dreams of Spanking was to make ethical porn based on my own fantasies. I'm not ashamed of being kinky and there's no harm in adults sharing consensual BDSM films. The AVMS regulations effectively criminalised my sexuality. I was singled out because I criticised the new laws. ATVOD tried to shut me up, but they failed.

Now I've won my appeal I feel vindicated. It proves that it's worth standing up to bullies. The war against intrusive and oppressive state censorship isn't over, but this decision is a landmark victory for feminist porn, diversity and freedom of expression.

Update: Candy Girls tool

3rd October 2016. From Xbiz

The operator of Candy Girl Productions, Laura Jenkins, also won her appeal involving two online adult sites and as well as 33 other affiliated adult subscription sites.

Ofcom reversed decisions made by previous co-regulator ATVOD and decided the sites listed in the appeal cases were not on-demand video websites and subject to regulation, including requiring a system that verifies that the user is 18 or over at the point of registration. Each of the online adult companies were subject to fines prior to the appeal cases.

Ofcom said in the rulings that it proposed to quash previous ATVOD determinations in the cases and replace it with the current determinations.



Update: Wiped from Amazon...

Amazon removes religious doormats from sale in response to a request by Rajan Zed

Link Here6th June 2016
Full story: Rajan Zed...Taking easy offence at hindu imagery
Perennial whinger, Rajan Zed has got easily offended by doormats being sold at He wrote:

Upset Hindus have urged world's largest online retailer for the immediate withdrawal of doormats carrying the images of various Hindu deities-temples-saint and sold on its website, calling it highly inappropriate.

He said that it was shocking to visualize that, for its mercantile greed, apparently persuading the world to scrub/wipe the soles of their shoes before entering a building on the faces of gods which Hindus worshipped.

Images of Hindu gods depicted on the doormats sold at website, Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, Ganesha, Venkateswara, Saraswati, Murugan, Durga-Hanuman, Padmanabha, were highly revered in Hinduism and were meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines; and not for absorbing water and dirt from shoes or for sweeping on for cleaning or for drying wet feet and grabbing dirt, dust and grime . Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted.

Rajan Zed also urged and its President Jeffrey P. Bezos to offer a formal apology, besides withdrawing about 67 objectionable doormats.

Rajan Zed further said that such trivialization of Hindu deities, temples and saint was disturbing to the Hindus world over. Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more ...BUT... faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it hurt the followers, Zed added.

Zed reported that Amazon had heeded his calls and removed the doormats as requested.



Offsite Article: Outrage to success...

Link Here6th June 2016
The Streisand effect in India

See article from



You are what you see...

Advert censor bans image of 'unt' mug on website

Link Here3rd June 2016

Two ads for, an online retail website:

a. A display ad seen in March 2016 on featured a product called the UNT Two-Tone Mug and showed a picture of the mug, which had a dark blue C-shaped handle and the letters UNT printed in dark blue after it.

b. A source content widget that contained six ads run through the Taboola network, seen in March 2016, which appeared on a national news website, was headed More From The Web - Sponsored links by Taboola . Each ad linked through to the advertiser's own website. One of the ads featured the same picture as ad (a) and included a link to Rakuten's website.

The ASA received two complaints.

1. Both complainants challenged whether ad (a) was likely to cause serious offence; and

2. One complainant challenged whether ad (b) was also likely to cause serious offence.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The complainants challenged whether the ads were offensive because they believed the ads featured an expletive. The ASA noted that although the full expletive had not been spelt out, it had used the handle of the mug to create the impression of the C which was painted dark blue The handle matched the dark blue UNT letters on the mug, contrasting with the white background. We considered consumers would therefore understand that the intended meaning of the UNT letters placed next to the C shaped handle was to spell CUNT , especially as the product was entitled the UNT Mug .

Ad (a) appeared on the website which featured content relating to BT's services and ad (b) appeared on a national news website, which included content on a large number of varying sectors and topics. We noted the content of the ads was therefore a strong juxtaposition with the content of those websites. We considered a broad range of consumers were likely to visit the websites and concluded that in that context the clear allusions to the word cunt in the ads were likely to cause serious or widespread offence.

The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Rakuten Europe S.à r.l to take care to ensure that ads that marketed products containing expletives or allusions to expletives did not appear in contexts in which they were likely to cause serious or widespread offence.



Bear Faced Cheek...

China censors ban street artwork with a bear giving the finger to financial regulators

Link Here3rd June 2016
A statue of a cartoon bear has been removed from outside China's securities regulator after complaints that it was making a middle-finger gesture at the building.

Statues of two characters from the popular Boonie Bears cartoon had been installed opposite the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) headquarters in Beijing, as part of an attraction marking Children's Day. One bear's paws caught the attention of passers-by, with two outstretched digits apparently aimed at the government building.

Both statues were subsequently taken down and replaced with cartoon monkeys.



Theresa May...This means you!...

Secretary General of the Council of Europe warns about internet censorship in Europe

Link Here2nd June 2016

Clear, transparent and adequate safeguards are needed to protect the free expression of internet users and ensure their access to information, according to Thorbjørn Jagland.

The Secretary General expressed his concerns following the 1 June publication of a study, commissioned to the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law, on the regulations governing blocking, filtering and removal of Internet content in the organisation's 47 member states.

Jagland wants European governments to ensure that their legal frameworks and procedures in this area are in compliance with Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. He said:

Governments have an obligation to combat the promotion of terrorism, child abuse material, hate speech and other illegal content online.

However, I am concerned that some states are not clearly defining what constitutes illegal content. Decisions are often delegated to authorities who are given a wide margin for interpreting content, potentially to the detriment of freedom of expression. On the basis of this study we will take a constructive approach and develop common European standards to better protect freedom of expression online.



Criminal Girls 2: The Party's Over...

NIS America explain why it is censoring the Japanese console game for distribution in the west

Link Here2nd June 2016

Criminal Girls 2: The Party's Over is a 2016 Japan RPG adventure game.

The distributors, NIS America, have announced that the game will be censored for release in Europe and North America.

NIS America senior product marketing manager Jordan Vincent said in a blog post:

Some of you might be asking, Why change anything in the first place?'.The answer to that question is pretty complicated overall, but here's the short version: While we do our best to make all our fans happy, we also need to make sure that our games can be released on the platform they're made for, and released in the various territories in which we sell them.

NIS America explained the changes made prior to submission to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board,.

  1. 1) Some artwork, especially during the motivation scenes, were altered over their explicit nature. It seems NIS America worried the ESRB would take issue with women tied up against the their will.
  2. Swapping the term punishment for motivation. In the Japanese version of the game, the motivation scenes are actually punishment.
  3. There won't be any English voice overs. All of the text will be displayed in English, but the voice tracks are staying Japanese.
  4. All dialogue has been removed from the motivation scenes.
  5. The stated ages of some the girls have been changed

Vincent finally reiterated the commercial necessity to censor the games to avoid a US AO (adults only rating) which simply not be allowed by console makers and retailers:

Though the debate about precedent and what should qualify as AO vs. M is ongoing, the only opinion that really matters is that of the ratings boards. We can (and often do, trust me) argue our position, but at the end of the day, we have to conform with the guidance the ratings boards give us. If they inform us that a title is going to be rated a certain way, we cannot persuade them otherwise by bringing up. They've made their decision, and we have to respect that and work with it rather than against it.




Update: Model persecution...

Turkish celebrity given suspended prison sentence for sharing a post insulting King Erdogan

Link Here2nd June 2016
Full story: Insulting Turkishness...Insulting Turkishness law used to repress
An Turkish court has found the well known model, Merve Buyuksarac, guilty of insulting a public official, after she shared a poem on her Instagram account in 2014 that was deemed insulting to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country's president. She was given a 14 month suspended prison sentence.

Ms Buyuksarac was one of thousands of people to share the poem, which did not mention Mr Erdogan - who was then prime minister - by name, but alluded to a corruption scandal that allegedly involved his family.

Her lawyer, Emre Telci, said he would file a formal objection to the verdict and appeal her case at the European Court of Justice. Telci said:

These insult trials are being initiated in series, they are being filed automatically. Merve was prosecuted for sharing a posting that did not belong to her.

The case against Ms Buyuksarac is one of almost 2,000 defamation suits that have been brought against critics of Erdogan since he became president in 2014. The trials have targeted journalists, academics and even schoolchildren. Free speech advocates say the law is being used aggressively to silence and intimidate critics.



Speech is now less free...

EU introduces requirement for social media companies to censor 'hate speech'. No doubt the internet companies will censor first and ask questions later and then find its not worth their while to investigate further

Link Here1st June 2016
The European Union has signed a censorship deal with four of the world's biggest tech firms which will see content censored in just 24 hours should someone claim that the content is 'hate speech'.

Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and Google have all committed to new rules designed to ensure that online platforms do not offer opportunities for illegal online hate speech to spread virally .

All four firms have committed to quickly analyse and remove content involving public incitement to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin .

Vera Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, said, The recent terror attacks have reminded us of the urgent need to address illegal online hate speech. She didn't mention how important it is to let people criticise groups behind those terror attacks

Eurocrats have claimed the laws are not about stifling freedom of expression, but making sure social media isn't used to spread extremist messages of hate.

But not everyone is buying this claim. Keith Porteus Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society, issued a statement condemning the hate speech laws . He wrote:

The public incitement to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin will create a chilling effect on freedom of expression and will be misused to muzzle it

On Twitter, one person insightfully observed that Brussels was intent on banning speech we don't like by calling it hate speech .

Jodie Ginsberg, Index on Censorship chief executive, noted:

Hate speech laws are already too broad and ambiguous in much of Europe. This agreement fails to properly define what 'illegal hate speech' is and does not provide sufficient safeguards for freedom of expression.

The agreement once again devolves power to unelected corporations to determine what amounts to hate speech and police it. There have been precedents of content removal for unpopular or offensive viewpoints and this agreement risks amplifying the phenomenon of deleting controversial, yet legal, content via misuse or abuse of the notification processes.



Miserable Gits...

Advert censors ban young people enjoying themselves in Jack Willis advert

Link Here1st June 2016

A direct mailing for fashion brand Jack Wills, received on 7 February 2016, included their spring catalogue.

One page featured images of male and female models in their underwear drinking, dancing and on a bed together. Text at the top stated UNDERWEAR ... Pure and comfortable cottons, or flirty delicate laces, whatever your choice, you can be sure it's what's underneath that counts ... . Large text at the bottom stated ... midnight MISCHIEF .

Another page, promoting loungewear , featured images of male and female models on a bed. Some of the models wore loungewear, one male model was topless on a bed with a woman while reading and another woman wore a bra with a strap falling off her shoulder. Issue

A complainant challenged whether the images were unsuitable for publication in a clothing catalogue that was targeted at, and seen by, teenagers.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

The ASA noted that the catalogue featured images of a group of older teenagers on a weekend away, and that the images in question showed them relaxing and engaging in activities such as dancing, drinking and reading a newspaper together. Although we understood that Jack Wills' target audience was 18- to 24-year olds, and that the catalogue was sent to an adult, we considered that younger teens might have access to the ad either directly or indirectly, and that the images were likely to appeal to those readers because they portrayed a lifestyle to which they might aspire.

In several of the images the models were partially dressed or shown in their underwear. We noted that most of the garments were appropriately fitted and did not accentuate or highlight parts of their bodies in a sexualised manner, however, the images were accompanied with claims such as Flirty laces , MIDNIGHT MISCHIEF and made for the morning after the night before . Moreover, we noted that the story of the group of friends depicted them dancing and drinking while fully clothed, then dancing and drinking in their underwear, followed by an image of a woman (holding a drink) and a man next to a bed, a woman in a bra and pyjama shorts brushing her teeth while sitting facing the camera with her legs apart, and a final scene of all of the characters in their underwear in bed together. We considered that this sequence of images, in conjunction with the text, was sexually suggestive as opposed to simply being flirtatious or playful. Because we understood that younger teenagers could have both direct and indirect access to the catalogue, and because we considered the images and text were sufficiently sexualised to be inappropriate for that audience, we concluded that the ad was irresponsible and that it breached the Code.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Jack Wills Ltd not to use sexualised images and text that were inappropriate for younger teenagers in ads to which those teenagers could have both direct and indirect access.



Has cinema ever been so depraved and the censors so amoral?...

The Daily Mail's Clare Foges rants about extreme violence, cannibalism and lesbian necrophilia in the new film The Neon Demon

Link Here 1st June 2016

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